Tag Archives: cms

Deja Vu and Other Cliches

Here I am again, with my annual post. This time, I’m the example of what happens when your goals aren’t focused. My role is heavily weighted to being able to cover for my fellow teammates. Sure, it seems like I should know each of their jobs very well. And I’m getting there. Trouble is, I have no goals of my own to pursue.

Manufacturing environments rely on repeatable processes… doing the same thing every day. Doesn’t sound too ripe for a goal, does it? Ahhh… yes! There are goals revolving around doing things better, faster and cheaper, of course. And then there are more nebulous goals, like improving the product itself. Ideas from the front line. Heck, they stare at the silly thing all day, right?

News is akin to production. Graphics production. Article drafts, edits and proofs. Publishing processes. Approval processes.

And there’s the trap.

It’s so easy to simply publish more of the same every time.

“This is the way we’ve always done it.”

I get consistency, but there’s a way to pull it off while still evolving and improving. Growing with the organization. Even incremental improvements over time can map to a large organizational change goal. Yes, I’m talking about content. Separating content from the publishing system.

We currently have a very old publishing system. It was very cool back in the day, and did all kinds of personalization and customization that simply was unheard of back then. And now we’re hampered by it, so we think. Or, so outsiders think. Until we get them to rethink their approach.

Data helps, but sometimes the improvements are so intuitive that they sell themselves. Like this idea of spreadability vs. stickiness. I rolled my eyes as soon as I read, “No, we needed to launch a corporate blog.”

Okay, I’m not that mean. I rolled my eyes, and then went to work looking for ways to educate people internally on how to spread information rather than make them all come hither. That’s where a portal design that seems ancient can really work to our advantage. Leverage the flat content structure to cross link and feature content from other sources throughout our intranet. It’s a simple concept, but “related content” is one way to get unstuck from a system that’s holding you back.

All of our publishers are getting better at embedding links to other content in articles they publish. The context really helps people know that they’re going to get what they want, and it helps us package content into meaningful collections for our employees.

Yep, it may be frustrating to be treading water, teaching the same lesson four years later. Grasp the challenge of finding a new way to use it. Teach it. Share it. Make it a goal.

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